Encouraging kids to play tennis has become an increasingly difficult challenge at time when computer games and mobile phone have become addictive distractions, yet a fresh brand of coaching called Teddy Tennis is making the sport fun once again for youngsters around the world.
Teddy Tennis is a mix of fun games and top level coaching for children between aged two and a half to eight, with the smiles on the faces of those taking part suggesting it is a programme that has found a winning formula.
Each lesson uses inspirational pictures of teddy bear characters playing the game, with kids eager to follow in the footsteps of the Teddy Tennis heroes they grow to admire.
The ethos of ‘see it hear it do it’ is gently spelt out to the kids using gentle persuasion, with stickers depicting each the different Teddy Tennis characters handed out at the end of each session compelling kids to return week-after-week to complete their sticker collection.
While the essence of each class is having fun and getting active, at least half of each lesson focuses on ball skills with a tennis racket, as top level coaches give kids the perfect platform to develop a passion for tennis at a young age.
All the top players in tennis urge parents to get their kids into the sport at a young age to give them the best chance of success and in the opinion of Teddy Tennis coach Nick Raper, this coaching programme is the perfect way to tap into the younger mind.
“The kids respond so well to the images of the teddy bears and for a young child, this is a far better way of encouraging them to learn the game than showing them a video of Roger Federer or Andy Murray in action,” Nick told Tennis365.
“First and foremost, the aim is for this to be an engaging and fun programme for the kids and for those who show a natural ability at tennis, we try to give them coaching that will help them to develop their skills and hopefully ease them into playing tennis as they grow up.
“The reward element of the session is always one of the highlights for the kids as they get a sticker at the end that features the teddy bear playing the shot we worked on that day, which always brings smiles to faces.
“I have great experience in tennis coaching and for me, this is by far the best programme to engage and inspire them to develop a passion for the sport.”
Now operating in 14 countries worldwide, the programme already has its first star player in the making, with Andrea Pineda cutting her teeth in Teddy Tennis and now emerging as one of Europe’s best young players in the game in the under-14 category.
So if you are looking for a route to get your children to play tennis at an impressionable age, seek out for a Teddy Tennis session in your area: http://www.teddytennisuk.co.uk
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
High praise for Coco Gauff from the great Martina Navratilova.
Good news from the Novak Djokovic camp.
John McEnroe not so sure Rafael Nadal will play US Open.
Daniil Medvedev on his two different personalities.
Australian icon sort of, kind of supports Nick Kyrgios.
Kevin Palmer highlights a Serena Williams memory.
Milos Raonic on the Adria Tour debacle.
Mouratoglou raises questions about hosting US Open.
Plenty of positives for Andy Murray.
Kevin Palmer on Roger Federer’s SW19 breakthrough.